When I booked my ticket to South America, my first stop was going to be Rio de Janeiro. I was confident it was a good place to start, but I didn’t know exactly what to expect. 
Why did i think it was a good place to start?
Like Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro and another couple of cities in South America have the cheapest flights in and out of London. Those included Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Lima. After looking at the different weather for the countries I wanted to visit and how they could broadly fit together, I realised Brazil would be in good weather and would deteriorate over time. With the country in the midst of carnaval celebrations, I also thought it would be high on most backpackers lists, so plenty of like-minded travellers to bump into in the hostels and overlap journeys with. So with weather, a solid backpacker trail to start on and cheap flights, it became my first destination. […]